The Kindergartens function as mixed age groups for pre-school children between the ages of three to six years. The purpose of a mixed age group is to provide a traditional large family atmosphere, helping children to acquire social skills through experience and imitation.
The first 7 years of childhood is the period of greatest physical growth and a time when the structures in the brain are still being formed and refined. In Kindergarten we recognise that the young child’s primary modes of learning are through moving, doing, experiencing and imitating. We provide nourishing opportunities for children to learn experientially and feel the joy of discovery. The young child’s natural creativity, curiosity and sense of wonder, qualities essential for life-long learning, are fostered through a curriculum rich in natural, imaginative content.
The range of activities offered promotes exploration of the world, concentration, perseverance, dexterity, strength, coordination and creativity as well as cognitive and language development.
The listening skills, attention, mathematical awareness and language skills which form the foundations for literacy and numeracy are developed through stories, songs and rhymes and through age-appropriate domestic work and craft projects. These also facilitate the development of large and small motor skills. Our emphasis on free play develops self-confidence and life-long social skills and the flexibility which will enable them to meet life's challenges with confidence.
The oldest Kindergarten children have special projects and drawing books, as well as privileges, responsibilities and expectations of behaviour, all of which help to prepare them for more formal schooling at age 6+.
Children in our school thrive on daily outdoor experiences in all weathers. The garden area encompasses a purpose built outdoor classroom which can be used for woodwork and other such tasks. It also houses an earth oven where the children bake bread.
We have a designated Garden Activities Lead who carefully plans seasonal outdoor activities. For example, in the autumn the children enjoy pressing apples to make juice, making turnip lanterns and planting spring bulbs. Other activities include pottery, paper making, wood work, leaf pressing, mulching and digging and making sand candles.